Being back in Sydney means back to work. Fortunately for me, though, there was lunch and dessert to be had with C to break up the slow period that is January. C was content to eat dessert as lunch when we spoke the day before, but the idea of a sugar crash mid-afternoon at work did not seem like a good idea. The solution? Have a small lunch, so we’d have plenty of room for dessert.
We headed to Hana Hana opposite Market City for lunch. In Japan, some restaurants have vending machines out front where you push a button for the food you want, insert coins to pay, and the machine spouts you a ticket that you show to the chef behind the counter who makes the food for you on the spot. Hana Hana comes close to those restaurants — you choose your food at a touch screen at the front, then go to the counter at the back to pay and receive your food. After you’re done eating, you place your tray with your empty dishes etc. on a shelf, just as you do in some restaurants in Japan. It’s fast food, but Japanese style.
I had a half serving of udon in soup and a side of sashimi and salad. The udon was delicious with just enough chewiness — often you get udon that’s overcooked, so it just melts in your mouth (gross).
They didn’t have the sashimi ready when we ordered, but they quickly made it for me on the spot. But I wouldn’t expect any less — the people who run the place are Japanese, and the Japanese are efficient almost to a fault.
After lunch, we head to Blackflower Patisserie. I’d previously blogged about their tendency for fusion and hence milder, less intense flavours. This time, however, I was pleasantly surprised.
I had Mario’s Garden. Inside, it’s your standard tiramisu with coffee jelly. I was a bit irked that it came in a black container, though, because isn’t it part of the beauty of cakes to be able to see it, and not just the top? Anyway, outside you have the cutest Mario-inspired arrangement of a meringue mushroom, perched atop chocolate and matcha ‘soil’. By itself, the ‘soil’ is a bit much, but once you’ve managed to dig through and get a good dollop of tiramisu with it, it’s quite an interesting twist on the tiramisu in terms of texture (in the ‘soil’), but also in terms of taste (in the matcha).
C had Envy, which is a matcha-based cake with layers of black sesame and white chocolate ganache. C was quite taken with the green tea flavours in the cake, though I found it to be a tad too bitter and too sweet. Neither of us could taste the black seasame, even though we could see it, alas. Nonetheless, the presence of intense flavours means that Blackflower Patisserie is back on my list of ‘stores with pretty cakes’!
Hana Hana is located at Shop 5, 209 Thomas Street, Haymarket NSW 2000; Blackflower Patisserie is located at 37 Ultimo Road, Haymarket NSW 2000.